Press release | January 3, 2019
Emails Reveal Evidence of Edgewood High School’s Dishonesty on Stadium
Emails between Edgwewood High School and Middleton High School | View PDF
Email to the city from Brian Munson of Vandewalle & Associates, the PR firm hired by Edgewood to advance the stadium proposal | View PDF
MADISON, WI. (January 3, 2019) -- Emails obtained via open records requests reveal a pattern of deception by Edgewood High School regarding its proposal to build a new stadium with lights and amplified sound in the residential neighborhood adjacent to Lake Wingra.
The emails from Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District officials reveal that Edgewood High School’s frequently repeated claim to the public and the city that it needs to build a stadium because it lost its agreement to continue renting Middleton High School’s football field is false.
On October 29, 2018, when asked why Edgewood was no longer using the Middleton stadium and whether the contract could be renewed, Middleton High School Athletic Director Bob Joers responded: “We did not have problems with them, actually it was a good arrangement. They are just wanting to get lights at their new stadium and the neighborhood doesn’t want that.”
Joers added Edgewood High School had asked him to respond to queries by saying, “Our agreement with Edgewood ended Spring of 2017.”
“Edgewood has always been WONDERFUL to work with,” stated Facilities Program Coordinator Yvonne Vils in an October 30, 2018 email response to Joers and Director of Business Services Lori Ames. “It was their choice to go elsewhere.”
The emails show that Edgewood High School could have continued to play their home games in Middleton, contrary to its claim to the city that “Prior agreements for use of Middleton’s field cannot be extended, leaving Edgewood without predictable locations and often last on the list of requests to host games.” (Sept. 13, 2018 email to the city from Brian Munson of Vandewalle & Associates, the PR firm hired by Edgewood to advance the stadium proposal).
“Many of those who attended Edgewood High School’s public meeting this fall came away with the impression that Edgewood needs a stadium because they ‘lost’ their agreement with Middleton,” says Dudgeon-Monroe neighbor Dianne Jenkins.
Alder Allen Arntsen is among those who came away with that impression. Arntsen wrote in a statement on December 11 that “Edgewood requests this amendment [to its master plan] because it is losing its right to play home games in Middleton.”
Edgewood did not lose its right to play home games in Middleton but rather declined to continue doing so of its own accord.
“These latest revelations compound a pattern of dishonesty in Edgewood High School’s dealings with the neighborhood,” says Tag Evers, Dudgeon-Monroe resident and District 13 aldermanic candidate.
This has created a huge credibility problem among neighbors, including Dudgeon-Monroe resident Jamie Domini.
“The proposed amendment makes several promises — lights that don’t bleed, sound that is contained, a specified number of events — but Edgewood has not honored past agreements, has not fully disclosed pertinent information, and has not engaged the neighborhood in good faith,” Domini says. “Based on this pattern of behavior, it’s safe to assume that Edgewood won’t honor the new promises they’re making.”
About No New Stadium
No New Stadium is a grassroots organization of neighbors who oppose Edgewood High School’s proposal to build a stadium with lights and amplified sound on its Monroe Street campus. The group was formed in October 2018. The Monroe-Vilas area provides a model balance of commercial vibrancy, greenspace, and peace. This balance is an asset we wish to defend and preserve. Learn more at nonewstadium.org.